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La Roja - Grand Reserve - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
La Roja - Grand ReserveLa Roja - Grand Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

87 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 216
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 294
Gots: 75 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-16-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (41) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 216
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 2012 (> 1 yr old now), Batch 454 & 469, Review #700 in a bad ass fantome glass

The beer pours a murky, rusty brown with a centimeter of off-white head that dissipates into a thin halo with little lacing and some sediment. The nose is relatively mild with notes of tart cherries, vinous grapes, and a touch of nail polish. I remember the regular la roja being quite astringent, but this drinks a lot smoother with rounded fruit flavors, malt sweetness, good oak, and less acetone. The mouthfeel is initially molassesy sweet and fruity with a non-bitter, dry, acetone/fruity finish. This is definitely a better beer compared to the regular and is worth trying at least once, but I wish it was more available and at a lower price point.

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Photo of bonkers
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to get this in the sours for dummies BIF, bottled 3/12. Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a snifter, ruddy amber pour, slight white head. The aroma has sour cherries, apple cider vinegar. The flavors have lots of sour fruit, oak, very tart and very drying. The body is light, slight carbonation. IMO a good flanders red, very glad to have tried it.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from trade. Batch 438/439. 7-25-2011 bottle date. Poured 2-20-13. Pours cloudy red with no head at all. Smells like the regular La Roja with a bit more vinegar. Bit of dry oak present for sure. Sour cherries. Bit of paint thinner. Mellow mouthfeel explodes into strong but smooth sour notes. Cherry vinegar that finishes very dry. A nice beer, very low carbonation. Not sure if the oak did all that much here.

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Photo of StaEva
3.37/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

lots of acetone, vinegar, ugly raisin sweetness. not the best showing by JP. lots of oxidation in the bottle, possibly not purged before filling? I'd rather drink BamBier all day everyday.

don't go out of your way to get a hold of this, as it was not yet ready to be consumed.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle, poured into a teku glass.

Pour: A copper, rusty body. Absolutely no carbonation, and is dead flat. A couple bubbles on the rim. This is an ugly beer.

Smell: Some nice sour cherries up front, along with a burnt caramel and a light oak. Some vanilla comes through as well.

Taste: Starts off with a big tartness up front, characterized by tart cherries and vinegar. I'm honestly getting a little bit of oxidation, and the flavors are quite dull, despite the strong sourness. A caramel sweetness comes on the back, and the most redeeming quality is a nice oak and vanilla on the finish. I would describe the overall taste as stale.

Mouthfeel: Horribly flat, which sometimes is okay, but is NOT here. Muddles the flavors, and makes each sip difficult. Finishes dry, which is nice.

Overall: If someone poured me this beer, and I didn't see it go right from the bottle into the glass, I would be convinced is got left out overnight, put in the fridge to cool, and then served to me. Very disappointed.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 2012 stubby bottle into my new favorite glass: my Tripel Karmeliet tulip

Pours a semi-ruddy amber/ruby/copper/reddish hue with a small ring of head. Looks much like a light-ish oude bruin. It is kinda dull looking, really, but it is hard to majorly ding a beer this good for the looks, so I give it a 4.

The nose is OUT OF THIS WORLD for this beer. So much going on. Musty Cherries. Oak. Apple. Apple Cider Vinegar. Funk. More Vinegar. 4.5

Taste does one better, which is not very common for any beer. Usually it is unfortunately the other way around. The taste is such a soft vinegar. The malt is present, but not assertive. Some semi-sweet notes from the malt. Sourness does not over-power in any way. Cherries come through nicely in the flavor. One of the better beers I've sipped in a long time. 5

M/O The feel is medium, with a light amount of carbonation. I personally think it fits this style very well 4.5 Overall, one of the better beers I've had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time, and will be doing my best to seek some more out, however unlikely this success is... 4.5

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Photo of BigShel
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I have had this brew on my personal wish list for quite some time. I am happy to say it was well worth the wait.

Taste- Sour but not sweet like some fruit lambics can be. Lightly fruity with some apple and cherry. A good amount of vinegar but not so much to be off putting. Toasty with caramel and vanilla on the finish. The flavor really develops as the beer warms.

Appearance- Rusty reddish brown with a decent lacy head. It most resembles a raw cider. Plenty or carbonation, enough to rattle my 4 oz stopper placed on top to preserve the taste. The head was off white and persistent more than I expected for this type of brew.

Nose- Bourbon, Honey, Vanilla, Vinegar, fruit, Light spice.

Overall I give this beauty 4.5 out of 5.0

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed this blind, thanks to abraxel...

A: Pours a cloudy red/purple/brown with very little head. The foam that does show up is off-white and lines the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: This is sour. I get sour cherries, raspberries, apple cider vinegar, and funk. It’s just a sour mess.

T: Mmm. This is nice. It starts with a great mix of sweet and sour. I get a lot of fruit up front (cherries, raspberries, apricot). There is a vinegar tartness that cuts through this beer from start to finish, but it’s just right. It’s not overpowering, as I would have expected form the nose. The finish reminds me of plums mixed with sour patch kids.

M: Medium bodied beer. It’s sour but drinkable. Everything mixes well together on the palate even before the lingering tartness takes hold.

O: Really solid. I’d drink this beer again. I really enjoyed how the fruit sweetness maintained a presence through all that sour. I’ve wanted to try this beer for quite some time. Glad I was just recently gifted another bottle. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Thanks abraxel!

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Photo of Etan
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle sent by Zaphog. Thanks! Label says, "454 &469. Bottled 3-13-2012".

A: Pours a murky reddish brown with a small off-white head.

S: Smooth lactic notes over pungent sourness (a little vinegar), some vanilla and coconut sweetness from the bourbon barrel.

T: Slightly puckering sourness - vinegar, lemon zest, cherry skin. Some woody spiced notes, vanilla, caramel from the barrel.

M: Light-bodied with very light carbonation.

O: Interesting beer. It doesn't seem quite as complex as regular LR but the bourbon presence is definitely amplified from the extended aging.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature. The bottle spewed foam upon popping the cap – just like ordinary La Roja did for me. Luckily, this time I saved it by letting the foam spill out into the glass instead of all over the counter, floor, and sink.

L – Hazy ruby-tinged amber-brown color with a 2-finger frothy tan head. Great retention and nice lacing. Extremely surprising head characteristics for a sour beer.

S – Red wine, dark cherries, musty oak, and a strong dose of vinegar acidity. Just like regular La Roja except with a little more vinegary perceived sourness and perhaps a bit more oak.

T – Wow. This is where this beer soars above ordinary La Roja. It starts off sweet with dark cherries and red grapes but almost immediately plunges into a wonderful puckering sour abyss. When the sourness finally begins to subside, a nice red wine and musty oak dryness appears at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sharp and puckering mouthfeel, and a very sour and dry finish. Sour cherry and grape flavors as well as some oak dryness linger for a great amount of time.

O – This is an outstanding sour beer. I was impressed right off the bat with the fantastic amount of head formation and retention. I haven’t seen many sour beers with good heads on them. The aroma was fairly similar to ordinary La Roja, but the taste absolutely blew me away. It is leaps and bounds more sour than the regular stuff. Also, the time in the oak barrels gives the beer a pleasantly woody and dry finish that complements the puckering sourness very well. I’m so glad I happened to be in Ann Arbor when this was released. Phenomenal beer from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the release in Ann Arbor, 9-22-2012. Batch 454 & 469. Bottled 3-13-2012

Poured from an 11.2 oz. stubby bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- murky reddish copper with only a few bubbles. No head to speak of, very minimal carbonation. Very surprising from a Jolly Pumpkin brew.

Smell- Strong buttery carmel notes, cinnamon, nutmeg, with a funky, tart cherry and red wine vibe with a big oak presence. Very reminiscent of a barrel warehouse in Kentucky.

Taste- Strong sour cherry draw, plums, black grapes, fruit acidity, followed by big, dry, buttery merlot notes, dry oaky finish. Finishes remarkably dry for how tart it begins. Very complex.

Mouthfeel- very soft, almost no carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall- A great beer. Drastically more complex than the standard La Roja release. The taste stands out in this one. I'm very glad I was able to get a few of these. Will be a great one to have in the cellar, and during the winter.

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Photo of warnerry
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 438/439; bottled 7/25/11

A - Pours a murky red/orange with no head. Very little, if any, carbonation.

S - Nice amount of oak on top of a quite a prominent red vine vinegar aroma. Good funk presence, with a lot of funky cheese. Still some malt coming though as well.

T - Nice acetic sourness, with a vinous character. A bit of sour apple, nice earthy funk, and a pleasant oak.

M - Medium/light mouthfeel with essentially no carbonation, which doesn't seem to distract in this case.

O - This is definitely a tasty sour that I would have again, but I'm not convinced it is that much better than La Roja (one of my favorites from JP), making the price a little harder to swallow.

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Photo of kjyost
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 8: Bottled 6-10-2011. Acquired at Princeton Liquors in Maple Grove, MN. Poured ~5C into wine glasses.

Deep amber body with a light tan tea that leaves some lacing. Brett barnyard and oak on the nose. A firm maltiness in the body that for some reason I was not expecting (8% amber, shoulda been I guess), works decently well with the brett flavours though still seems a hint out of place. Maltier than a Flanders Red, a nice beer that just surprised at the moment.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 48. The beer is a murky dark amber color with minimal head formation. As expected, quite a bit of vinegar. Sort of a blend of balsamic and red wine vinegars. A bit of toffee sweetness and perhaps a hint of acetone. A nice oakiness and mild vanilla. Not much fruit on the nose. The intensity of the vinegar is equal to the aroma. A decent amount of cherry and red grape flavor with a nice wine note. A hint of vanilla along with some tannic oak. Nice flavors, but the acetic quality makes it a bit tough to drink.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 438/439. Thanks to Bob (klipper)! Served in Darkness glass.

A - Very late-rising thin white foam settles to a big-bubbled partial cap, and thicker collar. The body is a dark reddish orange, with a hint of transparency at the edges. Some tiny spots of lacing are left behind as the beer is consumed.

S - Smell is quite nice, with a mix of oak, red wine vinegar, dill, hint of blue cheese. Quite vinous, with increasing dry wood flavors as the beer warms up that starts to become a tad overwhelming.

T - Nice sour grapes and appleskins, red wine, quite acetic with minimal lactic character. Long lingering dry oak finish. By the end of the bottle there's a hint of the base brown malt. Again, it's quite enjoyable but it's hard to differentiate from other Jolly Pumpkin offerings without the virtue of an A/B comparison.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, with extreme tannic dryness, and a mouth-coating residual candy-like finish. No real indication of the listed 8% ABV.

D - Really nice beer. I was able to finish the 12oz bottle very quickly and I'd gladly have this again in the future if it were available a little more often. Beast Jolly Pumpkin beer I've had in a while.

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Photo of claaark13
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 stubby.

A - Very still, translucent with a brownish-red hue.

S - Mild vinegar, cheesy funk.

T - Some vinegar, tart throughout. Some cherry-like presence at times with a little bit of wwd.

M - Light to medium.

O - I liked this one, but the appearance and body pull it down a bit.

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Photo of tewaris
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz stubby bottle sent by Romulux. Poured into a snifter. Thanks!

Pours a dark burnt red, with good clarity. Thick layer of dregs is seen settled at the bottom and the neck of the bottle, that thankfully did not get disturbed at all. In spite of a good pour, no head forms and the beer looks lifeless :-/ This is surprising because the carbonation couldn't have been more apt as far as the mouthfeel goes!

An ale of staggering complexity, La Roja Grand Reserve opens with the vinegar and plum peel character typical to Flanders style beers, but quickly delivers fleeting notes of bubblegum and phenols, typical to tripels. It is also one of the most oak/bourbon forward beers and reminds me of straight bourbon every now and then. With so much going on, the finish is puckering dry, in part from oak and in part from acid. A fruit peel like slightly tart bitterness lingers with hints of wood. Amazing! The relatively low body keeps things clean and also lets the oak/bourbon shine, almost dominate the end in the best way.

2, 3.5, 4.5, 5, 4

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Photo of biga7346
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a JP snifter

A - Very still, little to no head, a deep crimson rusty color, rubyish and turbid.

N - Pie cherries, old wood but very spritzy like a white wine, a rich suggestion of white pepper, charred oak; it's a very inviting smell and the JP brett aroma is nearly overpowering accented with some nutty, tart cheese aromas. There is some fruit-like qualities like lemon zest, very sour cherries.

T - Very smooth and carbonated, rolls off the palate like champagne; tart cherries and lemon zest up front, definitely not cloying in the sourness, the regular La Roja I think is almost a little more tart than this. There is some fruit juice like qualities and blackberries, a perfectly placed amount of carbonation; the oakiness and tannins is muted for just a really enjoyable, refreshing yet slightly drying sour beer.

D - Damn good stuff

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the release in Ann Arbor. Shared with a few people at AgentZero’s birthday tasting. Batch number 438/439.

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a murky orange/reddish color. About a half finger of off white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves slight lacing.

Smell – Musty barnyard funk, cherry vinegar, heavier caramel, toasted bread, and malt than the BdM GR. Slight oak and lactic.

Taste – Similar to the regular La Roja, though heavier oak and just a bit more tartness. Overall, it is somewhat close to the regular version of this which is a bit of a disappointment. Nice cherries, earthy barnyard funk, and must. A nice tartness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Overall – Easy to drink, a bit more sour than the regular. However, I hope this gets a bit more tart with age.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a tulip. Huge thanks to Matt for sharing this long time want! 07/25/2011 Bottled date. #438/439 Batch.

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish caramel amber hue. Some froth and lace.

(S)- A subtle cheesy funk with lots and lots of barrel wood. Some subtle spice. Very mild lactic bits.

(T)- Some nice tart/acidic fruits with the same superb dry wood barrel and subtle spice. Not as funky as the smell, but again, some lactic bits in there.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Has a great flow of sour fruit to dry oak and subtle funk. Very harmonious despite the heft oak barrel profiles.

(D)- Very nice stuff here. Great smell, taste, and feel with not one part standing our from the next, so it is a well balanced and integrated beer. Regular La Roja is one of Jolly Pumpkin's best beers, and this just got even better than that.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SpdKilz for sharing this one at my birthday tasting.

A - Rusty amber colored beer that didn't have much head on it.

S - There's a decent bit of tart cherry on the front and some oak. Little bit of funkiness to it as well.

T - Taste is pretty good. There's some cherry flavor that has held up decently as well as a bit of funk. Good sourness.

M - Medium bodied, carbonation is pretty active.

O - I thought this beer had some good taste and was fairly enjoyable to drink. Would drink again.

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Photo of shivtim
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Konrad for getting this bottle in Michigan.

Poured into a large tasting glass. Deep red copper, with orange tint. No real head, but a very tiny ring/lacing.

Nose is sour, sweet sugar cane and vinegar. Flanders-esque. Slightly oaky and bits of dark pickled fruit. Fantastic.

Taste is incredibly sour. Layers of sour upon sour. Straight vinegar. Oak and more mouth puckering sour. Quite possibly the most sour beer I've ever tried.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Foamy and dry.

Overall a very interesting and unique beer. Quite an achievement, but perhaps too sour to enjoy more than a small amount at a time.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a snifter. Thanks to bauermj for bringing this over.

Appearance: This has almost no head from light carbonation and a bright copper color with transparent edges.

Smell: The aroma is very sour and scorches the nose a little bit. Toasted bread and caramel malt fade behind a soft funky presence with a nice sour cider aroma.

Taste: The flavor is sour more than anything. Lemon citrus fronts light toasted bread and a bit of caramel malt. Some cherry in the background. It is sour all the way through.

Mouthfeel: This is lighter, more dry, and flatter than the regular La Roja I have had.

Overall: I can't quite decide if I like this better than an aged La Roja or not. It is more sour and lighter bodied than the regular.

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Photo of mikereaser
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind thanks to Abraxel as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6

A - Poured from a short bottle into my tulip. It pours a chestnut brown, very murky, with just a little bit of foam that quickly faded.
S - Nice sour cherry and apple aroma with some nice funk. There is just a bit of oak along with some grapes? The smell is so inviting it makes my mouth water.
T - Light vinegar flavor mixed with some nice red berries, maybe cherries or raspberries. The sourness is not as strong as I expected and makes it very drinkable and not tiring so far. The tartness seems to becoming stronger as I sip it, sometimes hitting you in the back of your mouth.
M - Light bodied with slight carbonation. It has a nice dry finish. It works well with this beer.
D - Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

Again, I really have no idea what beer it is so I'll rip open the bag...

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Grand Reserve!
Its not on my want but is a big want of mine. I had no idea it was bottled in 330ml bottles. Very nice indeed and just the right amount all around. Thanks Abraxel for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most recent relase. Served slightly below cellar temp.

A: An orangeish red color. A little cloudy. A small amount of white head.

S: Vinegar sourness.

T: This one is sour on the nose, followed by some vinegar and fruit notes. Very good.

M: Medium bodied and a decent carbonation.

O: A great sour. I wish this was more readily accessible.

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La Roja - Grand Reserve from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
91 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.